Festival of Kissing, Festival of Touching

by Mark Chmiel

Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces

Marginalia and Notes, February 2001

I read this book because, like Arenas’s The Color of Summer, it exemplifies a style and structure that I wish to adapt for my second book: short, compressed, packed chapters, thematically linked over the course of the book by numbers, with ample illustrations, mixing autobiography, journalism, “theology,” history, lyricism.

Addition to Jack Kerouac, shorter, the better. Consider, fracturing further currently long chapters.

A part of me died with him. A part of him lives with me. [What for a dedication page?]

Think of all the words I can include, with examples, in my Lexicon chapters.

Depending on layout and format, consider using little photos (of Mev, even) .

Tell my story; no, tell your story.

Do some chapters, like his The Function of the Reader, on “Reading.”

NB: keep the chapters short. 23

Chapter: Voice. And, Voiceless. Check synonyms.

“When it is genuine, when it is born of the need to speak, no one can stop the human voice. When denied a mouth, it speaks with the hands or the eyes, or the pores, or anything at all. Because every single one of us has something to say to the others, something that deserves to be celebrated or forgiven by others.” 25

What kinds of art are in my book? Poetry, photos, what else?

I like these various “Chronicles of the City of …” 35 So, retell stories of Palestine, Haiti, etc,. but do it my way, more crypto-theologically.

“In the high-class districts people live as they do in Miami; they do live in Miami; life is Miamified, plastic clothing, plastic food, plastic people, and videos and computers are synonymous with happiness.” 35

Chapter on a person I know, like “Chomsky”

Mev’s dreams – what are some that are usable?

Make links among chapters, and not always directly, but subtly. [As with his Dreams sequence]

Note his use of “Celebration of” chapters; my chapters could be similar, Festival of Kissing, Festival of Touching, …

Keep mixing up the titles.

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